Thursday, December 30, 2010

cork board coasters

I like to give handmade gifts for my mom's extended family.  As I'm sure you already know, I like to give handmade gifts to other people as well, but I like to make something relatively simple for all of them, too.  I made sugared nuts for a couple years.  Last year, I made button magnet sets for a few of them.  I needed something different this year, and I found this cute idea in a library book with lots of ideas for handmade party supplies.

I'm posting this after I gave out all of the coasters so that I wouldn't ruin the surprise for anyone.

This is my initial supply set up: 1 pack of 4 12"x12" cork boards, cutting mat, craft knife, ruler, 3"x3" photos, and contact paper.  I got my cork boards at Staples.  They're available at almost any office supply store and a lot of the big box stores like Target.  I got my cutting supplies at Target.  I order contact paper for work in bulk through Office Depot.  I should mention that at this point, I'd already formatted and printed all of the pictures that I was going to use.  I take tons of pictures and had lots to choose from so I didn't take any specifically for this project.  I used Microsoft Word to format my pictures and then printed them on photo paper.  If you need more instruction in this, let me know.  You are welcome to use other word processing or photo programs for this, too.  You can make your pictures/coasters any size that you like.  Keep in mind that 3x3" or 4x4" are very easy sizes for working with 12"x12" cork boards.

I covered the front side ONLY of all of the photos with contact paper.

Here's all of the contact paper cut out.

I covered the front side of the photos and cut them out.  I formatted my pictures to 3"x3" for 3"x3" coasters so I did not leave any border.  You can choose to format your pictures smaller than your coasters and cut borders for them.

I measured and marked 3"x3" squares on each of the cork boards.  I used a black rollerball pen for this.  A ball point pen might suffice, but I think that a rollerball will be easier.

Here they are cut out.  I recommend starting your cuts at the bottom and working your way to the top.  This helped me keep my lines straighter than I would have if I'd attempted to cut all the way down at once.

I broke out my glue gun for the first time ever for this if you can believe that (hence the instructions next to it).  I glued around the edge of each coaster and filled in the middle a little bit.

Here they are all finished.  I laid them out as I glued them and then stacked them later after they'd dried and cooled.

I bundled them up by theme and tied them with ribbons.

I made 48 coasters total.  Making this many at once was a pretty time consuming project.  I'm sure that I spent at least 6 hours on the whole thing (which doesn't count wrapping them).  If you are less ambitious and want to make a single sheet of 12 or 16 coasters at a time, it will probably only take you 2 hours.  Either way, the effort is well worth it.


  1. This is a nice idea. I really enjoyed making more gifts this year even though it does take more time than just going to the store. I plan on doing the same thing next year--but maybe start earlier!

  2. that's a great idea for an inexpensive project. And if you had pictures of the family or vacation spots (which you probably did), it would become such a personal gift! {:-D

  3. I agree, Erika. Starting earlier is the only thing that I would change about the process, too!

    Thanks, Deb. :) A handful of the sets that I did were vacation spots. Family pictures would work well, too. I'll keep that in mind!

  4. What a great idea! Thanks for posting the instructions. These would make great gifts for just about anyone =)

  5. You're welcome Kathleen! I agree. :)

  6. What a great idea! I may have to find some time to try this out! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Thanks Lauren! I'd love to see what you make if you do try it. :)

  8. very cool! I have some corkboard stuff around - I may try giving this a go...I've been wondering what to do with it :P

    I broke out my glue gun this season it still not my friend.

  9. That's cool Theresa. Let me know if you do. :)

    I was NOT looking forward to using the glue gun. It went better than I expected, though.


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